Definition of paraphrase in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈperəˌfrāz/


[with object]
Express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity: you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts
More example sentences
  • The discovery of every tale, Naipaul writes, paraphrasing Joseph Conrad, is a moral one.
  • In part because the meanings of a Beethoven symphony can't be paraphrased into words, one can make purely personal, emotional use of the music.
  • The answers are paraphrased as I wrote them down as fast as I could.
reword, rephrase, put/express in other words, rewrite, gloss


A rewording of something written or spoken by someone else.
Example sentences
  • In his early years as a teacher he wrote explanatory paraphrases of many of Aristotle's works, setting a pattern of exegesis which continued to be followed throughout the Middle Ages.
  • He cannot get around that by saying he wrote a paraphrase down on a piece of paper.
  • The interviews were taped, transcribed, and translated: the texts should be considered as paraphrases.
rewording, rephrasing, rewriting, rewrite, rendition, rendering, gloss



Example sentences
  • They teetered into the ridiculous: Williams sought to deny a paraphrasable content where he could detect nothing risqué, but was on the alert for meaning if the poetry looked naughty.
  • Indeed, these might be the same example underneath - I do not take a stand here on the question of which propositional attitudes are reducible to (or paraphrasable in terms of) others.
  • The tablets we did receive are multisemic, they are impossible ever to put into propositional language, or into anything even paraphrasable.


Pronunciation: /ˌperəˈfrastik/
Example sentences
  • He has now publicly called on the bug man to explain himself (or some such meaningless paraphrastic remark).
  • Even his paraphrastic explanation in the Small Catechism seems to imply (for both the 1959 and the 2000 editions of English translations of The Book of Concord) that he had men and women equally in mind.
  • Many of the details in the Triumph are paraphrastic repetitions from Titian's three Bacchanals.


Mid 16th century (as a noun): via Latin from Greek paraphrasis, from paraphrazein, from para- (expressing modification) + phrazein 'tell'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: par·a·phrase

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